International Development and Culture Week recognizes global issues

The diversity of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus and the surrounding community was celebrated last week at UTSC’s first annual International Development and Culture Week.

The events between Feb. 9 and 11 were meant to promote global citizenship, raise awareness of international development issues, and emphasize concepts such as fair trade, global sustainability and global health. The festivities also coincided with the Chinese Lunar New Year.

“It became a united week where we could celebrate both the international development program as well as UTSC’s culture,” said Adam Dickinson, a member of the week’s executive steering committee.

The committee, which began planning the week in November, consisted of staff members, student workers and student volunteers from different parts of UTSC, including the International Student Centre and the school’s international development program. The events of the week included a photo contest, a giant scrabble game, film showings and discussions, and a guest speaker from the International Development Research Centre.

The Chinese New Year was also celebrated with a dragon dance and free dumplings, aimed at giving a traditional New Year experience to both Chinese and non-Chinese students.

One of the most important parts of the week was reaching out to the diverse culture at UTSC and making the ideas of international development resonate within the greater UTSC community, rather than just within a smaller group of International Development students, Dickinson said.

With the week’s success, he is confident there will be another International Development and Culture Week next year, he said.

“It’s been such an amazing experience,” Dickinson said. “I really want it to translate into something bigger and better next year and in the years to come.”